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A Natural State: Essays on Texas
by Stephen Harrigan (Goodreads Author)
In this remarkable collection of essays, Stephen Harrigan explores, with an unfailing depth of feeling, the human longing to feel at home in the world of nature.
Paperback, 199 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by University of Texas Press
(first published 1988)
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A friend gave me this book over a year ago, and I couldn't bring myself to read it until now. Texas nature writing? I know that Texas is big and chock full of varied landscapes and biology, but it's also been run through the wringer of industrial grade farming, oil drilling, privatization, and strip mall style mega development. Not much wilderness left in the Lone Star State, and much of what is wild is in private hands and off limits to the rest of us. Texas can be beautiful, but most of it has ...more
I've got to say, I'm a bit surprised by the negative or poor reviews this book seems to have. I found it so fascinating - a man, documenting for most of his life, the struggle to connect to the land he loves and finding the truth in. He's in love with the rustic, historical, natural Texas and is searching for what remains of it in today's concrete, post-oil boom, strip mall and Wal-Mart Texas. This is one of the books I've found myself connecting with on such a personal level that it's a bit dau ...more
This collection of essays from the 80s was just okay. I wasn't particularly moved by his writing, or his topics (the Houston zoo, a Galveston beach, the Chihuahuan Desert). The essay on Padre Island was more interesting (I was surprised he drove his car all over the beach, given his purpose there as a naturalist), and I actually enjoyed the one on the San Marcos River ("The Perfect River"). He makes a few solid observations in the essay "What Texas Means to Me", but overall I was disappointed.
Stephen Harrigan was born in Oklahoma City in 1948 and has lived in Texas since the age of five, growing up in Abilene and Corpus Christi.He is a longtime writer for Texas Monthly, and his articles and essays have appeared in a wide range of other publications as well, including The Atlantic, Outside, The New York Times Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, Audubon, Travel Holiday, Life, American History ...moreMore about Stephen Harrigan...